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Paso Doble

The story of the Spanish bullfights, presented in a dance - it's almost sure there is no better explanation for Paso Doble.
Here you will read about the interesting role of the lady in the dance, as well as some facts about the music to which the dance is performed.

Paso Doble - A short history of the dance

Paso Doble
Paso Doble

Beat: 2/4.
Temp: 60-62 measures per minute.
Count: "1 - 2" ("left (leg) - right (leg)"); three highlights.
Developed around 1920.

Paso Doble or Pasodoble is a lively style of dance to the duple meter march-like pasodoble music.

It actually originated in southern France, but is modeled after the sound, drama, and movement of the Spanish bullfight. Paso doble means "two step" in Spanish.
The name 'Paso Doble' in Spanish means 'Two Step', and may be distinguished from 'Paso a Dos' which means 'Dance for two'. "Two Step" refers to the marching nature of the steps, which may be counted '1, 2' for 'Left, Right'.

The dance itself became popular amongst the upper classes of Paris in the 1930's (thanks to Pierre Lavelle), and acquired a set of French names for many of the steps.

It has still only limited popularity amongst English speaking society. There are places in Spain, France, Vietnam, Australia and Germany where it is played regularly as social dance.

The competition version of the Paso Doble is danced with a high chest, the shoulders wide and down, and with the head kept back but inclined slightly forward and down (the bullfight nature of the dance).

Pasodoble is based on music played at bullfights during the bullfighters' entrance (paseo) or during the passes (faena) just before the kill. The leader of this dance plays the part of the matador. The follower generally plays the part of the matador's cape, but can also represent the bull or a Flamenco dancer in some figures.

Often it is choregraphed to the tune 'Espana Cani' (the Spanish Gypsy Dance), which has three crescendos in the music. These highlights are usually matched in the choreography by dramatic poses, adding to the spectacular nature of the dance.

Paso Doble (just like Samba) is a progressive Latin-American dance. Interesting part of its performing is that most forward steps have heel leads.

A bit more information about the Paso Doble music (more about Espana Cani). It has breaks in fixed positions in the song (two breaks at syllabus levels, three breaks and a longer song at Open levels). Traditionally Paso Doble routines are choreographed to match these breaks, as well as the musical phrases. Accordingly, most other ballroom Paso Doble tunes are written with similar breaks (those without are simply avoided in most competitions).

Paso Doble is the fourth dance in the Latin-American program.

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